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Sent to Love and Heal

by Jeremy Hiers, OSA

We all have the power to heal others.  

Perhaps not all of us can heal physical ailments like a doctor, but we all have gifts that can heal in other ways.  Some may have the ability to offer words of encouragement or optimism to those who are discouraged.  Some of us have the ability to inspire others through art or music.  Others may have the creative ability to find new solutions to old problems. Others may have the freedom and time to be present to those who are lonely.  Still some may be able to offer some form of service that relieves suffering.  Some have worldly power or influence to correct injustices.  Still others have the ability to be a model of faith for those who are otherwise downtrodden or have given up on the faith.  Still others can create unity through their ability to gather people together or to offer a new perspective on an issue that people are otherwise divided on. 

Sometimes when we offer our gifts in the name of God they are warmly welcomed.  Other times our offers are rejected.  However, the message of Mark 6:7-13 is to keep moving and to travel lightly so we don’t get weighted down.

Today the Church celebrates the memorial of two great men of faith who kept moving against tremendous odds in order to heal others. 

Saint Blaise was a physician who cured bodily ailments who then also became a physician of souls as a Bishop.  Even in a time of persecution when he was in custody and was being led to jail, he offered healing to a young boy who was choking to death on a fish bone.

Blessed Stephen Bellesini became an Augustinian Friar during a time when the government was trying to suppress religious houses.  Several years after he took vows and had served as a preacher and teacher, his monastery was closed by the government and he was forced to return to his family home.  Yet, he didn’t give up offering his gifts to others.  He dedicated himself to teaching the poor children of his hometown.  He did so well the local authorities put him in charge of the school district.  When he was able to return to religious life, he died while ministering to victims of an epidemic.[1]

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Two intercessors who can aid us on our journey of being sent to heal because they both traveled lightly enough to enable them to share their gifts, even when they were under pressure not to.

It is not easy to share our faith and our gifts in today’s world.  We have our own forms of religious persecution today and we have an epidemic that has caused us to have to find new ways to be present to others.  Yet, we also have Jesus Christ who comes to us each day in the Eucharist today to heal us of our own weaknesses and doubts so we can then go and heal others.  

Through the intercession of Blessed Stephen Bellesini and Saint Blaise, we pray to remain open to continuing to following Jesus Christ on the pathways that lead us to offer our own gifts of healing to those in need.

[1] Michael Di Gregorio, O.S.A., Hearts On Fire (Villanova, PA:  Augustinian Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova, 2018), 41-43.

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